Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Working the Zoom Button

I'm at a point in my Optifast program, where I need to focus on each moment, keep my eyes looking forward, and keep walking through the headwinds of staying on program, facing temptation and reaching my weight goal.  At the same time, I'm also also looking at each moment as it fits into the bigger picture of the healthy life I'm building that will extend well beyond this initial weight loss period and form the life that will allow me to maintain a healthy weight.  Right now, the experience can be dizzying.
My mind is really working that "Zoom" button.  On one hand, I have to manage my life choices and eating on a minute by minute basis.  I'm faced with moments of temptation, smells, people around me eating, getting caught feeling hungry, and emotional stress that pulls me in the direction of my old sources of comfort.  Then I zoom out and think about how I will manage all of this to sustain my healthy life with a healthy body, after the fast and when I'm choosing and eating food.  What will I grab when I'm hungry for a snack?  What will I take with me when I leave the house to run errands or go to meetings?  What will be good to keep around the house that will be both healthy, and also palatable to my kids and friends when I have company over or when neighbors drop in?  What intervention has been effective when I want to turn to food for comfort?  I'm constantly zooming in and out during these experiences.

My task to stay on program, drink my shakes, exercise and make it to the first goal is extremely important to me.  It is just a milestone on this healthy life adventure that I decided to begin.  Right now it is also taking much more effort than it did before, even though I am currently experiencing the positive results of my past dedication - cute clothes, less pain, more energy and feelings of vitality.

These struggles could be the result of seasonal/environmental conditions (my kids are home from school, I'm traveling more and visiting friends and family, I'm working from home and am cooking and around food most of the day.)  The challenges are also part of the normal struggles associated with any big behavioral change. On an hourly basis I am reminded that by choosing to take the "healthy highway," the sites, experiences and scenery are new to me.  The culture is new to me, and I'll need to patiently learn new ways of living.  The hazards and seasons will always be there, but I will be handling them differently in this "new place."

Am I travelling the road perfectly?  No.  I've had some bites and had to get back on track.  When I first chose to take a bite, I was filled with disappointment and self-doubt.  That was a reaction rooted in the moment, however when I zoom out and look at the bigger picture, these small transgressions have taught me how to live life as an imperfect person.  I won't lie to you - it has been scary for me - certainly not because I have ever been able to attain perfection, but because I am now trying to be comfortable with and not give too much power to, my diet pitfalls.

Every time I overcome a cheat or better yet, say "no" to myself, I am building a little more confidence that I'll be able to handle the flat tires and obstacles that are a normal part of any trip.

These will be the challenges of a lifetime, and I feel like I'm just at the beginning of learning how to handle them in a healthy way.  I'm thankful for the "Zoom" right now.  It's a helpful little tool.


Kathy said...

Hang in there, Christy! You're doing a fabulous job. Do you have a long while before you transition into maintenance?

happyinca said...

Thanks, Kathy. Not too long - I'm about 22 pounds from goal, and I guess 10 pounds from starting PFE's. At my usual weight loss, that would mean about a month from now. I'm hosting my sister's 60th birthday party the weekend of August 24th, so I'm thinking of waiting until everyone leaves before starting to eat. On one hand, it would be great to join people in nibbling on one meal, but on the other hand, it may be a weekend full of temptations, and I don't know how my body will respond to the regular food intake. If you have any ideas or advice on this, I'd appreciate them.

Kathy said...

I think you are extremely wise to think about waiting until after the party to start eating regularly again. I can tell you from my experience in the past that it is much safer to stay on the liquids and slowly transition in. Eating food again after the fast was the much more difficult part of the journey and I know looking back that I pushed myself too soon. You're doing so great, though, and you're incredibly thoughtful in terms of what is best for you. I know whatever decision you make will be the right one for you ;-)